There are several different considerations that any hoist operator has to make before lifting a load. It starts with ensuring proper safety is in place and the wire rope or chain, as well as the hoist, is in good working condition and no signs of wear or damage.
It also means selecting the correct type of clamp. When lifting plate, there are two options to consider in plate lifting clamps, horizontal and vertical lift clamps. These two options can be used for lifting any type of plate, including structural steel, stainless steel, aluminum or other types of sheet plates of composite materials.
There are some important considerations in selecting the best plate lifting clamps for the job. The various factors that make one clamp a better choice will include the gripping force, the shape of the clamp as well as the specific material being lifted.
Each clamp, regardless of the type, will have a working load limit or WLL rating. This is the maximum weight that the clamp can maintain during the lift. There will also be a maximum jaw capacity rating, which indicates the size of the plate the clamp is designed to lift.
It is ideal to operate all designs of plate lifting clamps at or just below the jaw capacity and the working load limit. It is important to not exceed these two parameters as this increases the risk of a failure in the clamp during the lift.
The Shape of the Clamp
As a general guideline, use a clamp with a narrow throat for light and thin sheets. For thicker plates, both large and small, use a large clamp with a more pronounced pad for greater surface contact with the plate.
It is also important to consider the type of teeth on the clamp. The softer the alloy, the smaller the teeth should be on the clamp. It is also possible to choose non-marking clamps, which are essential for eliminating any marks on the plate.
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